I’ve been thinking a lot lately of what things my kids will remember from their childhoods, often in relation to what I hope they won’t remember (we’ll let it at that, no need to go into specifics). But it got me thinking about the things I remember from growing up, the moments that had the most impact and the majority of them are happy memories or meaningful moments. Many are days or events that were captured on film, which I think helps reinforce the memory, or even shape it into something more than it was.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
- My dad reading to me before I went to bed. I don’t remember board books but I do remember Charlotte’s Web and other classics. We read every night and I think it helped cement my love of books – getting to visit a new world through my imagination was such a treat. Also, I can’t recall if my mom did the reading, too, or if it was just my dad – perhaps because she was home with me all day so that was our special time.
- Playing cards with Helen. Helen lived across the street from my parents and she was probably in her seventies and was widowed and without kids. She and her husband had a poodle named Cindy who was their only child and when I came along, Cindy hated me (or so they tell me). I don’t remember Cindy but I remember playing Kings Corner with Helen on a card table in her living room, drinking root beer floats and eating bite-size Snickers (always in a bottom drawer in her kitchen). Helen’s house was filled with antiques and souvenirs from her travels with her husband and I loved to look at all of her things.
- I vaguely remember preschool, or the idea of it and what we did, but the most specific thing I remember was when our parents visited preschool for a program and I leaned over to my mom to loudly whisper, “That’s the girl who farts all the time, the stinky one.” My mother was mortified and I still feel like I want to apologize to that girl.
- My mom doing my hair up in sponge rollers. Until I hit puberty I had thick but stick-straight hair and I longed for curls like my niece, Quinn. So my mom would do my hair up in rollers at night after a bath and the next morning I would have a head-full of Shirley Temple curls, at least for the next hour until they all fell out.
- Going camping. We spent at least two weeks every summer camping in one of the state parks in Michigan. Our favorite places were in Cadillac and Boyne City. I loved everything about camping. Sleeping outside(ish), spending all day at the beach, playing cards, staying up too late sitting around campfires and eating all the yummy camping food (and the fresh doughnuts they made at the camp store at Young State Park).
- Visiting my brother in Houston. The other thing we did almost every year was drive down to Texas to visit my brother, Marty, during my spring break from school. I loved the drive and the visit itself. We would go to new restaurants, play countless games of Monopoly and visit different places around Texas.
- Playdates with my nieces, Quinn and Laura. They are 3 and 6 years younger than me and only lived 10 minutes away so while we didn’t grow up in the same house, but we grew up together. We fought like siblings, though I usually lost since I was older and should have known better (though I plead that not having siblings my age meant that I really didn’t “know” better) but it was mostly fun having them around. I remember them spending the night and all three of us sharing the double bed in my room and I’d usually end up on the floor because both of them would scoot into the middle and away from the edge of the bed. Andy didn’t come along until I was 10 and by that stage I could more appreciate being an aunt than a sibling.
- Birthday pool party. I usually shared a birthday cake with my SIL since our birthdays are less than a week apart but one year I got to have my own party for my friends. Since we had a pool, everyone came to our house and we swam and ran around like crazy children. The most distinct thing I remember about that was my mom throwing up in the bushes and hosing it away – I’m sure she’d be glad to know that’s what stuck with me. I don’t think I’d ever seen anyone throw up before so I guess that’s why I still have that memory.
- Visiting family in Wisconsin. One of my mom’s brothers lives in a very small town in northern Wisconsin (population 1400 or so) and we visited them there quite a few times. It was always one of my favorite place to go because it was in the country (I was a city girl), I adored my aunt and uncle (still do) and my aunt always seemed to have endless amounts of snacks and homemade goodies. [It was also a memorable place for my brother who passed out in a barn while witnessing a cow giving birth (my uncle was a veterinarian) and ended up hitting his head and getting a slight concussion.]
- Going to work with my dad. My dad was an auto parts salesman and his job was to call on the mechanics and shops in the area and get their parts orders so he was in his car all day and came home for lunch every day. At least a couple of times a summer, I would get to go with him for the afternoon and I loved meeting the guys my dad worked with and the smell of the body shops. Sometimes we’d stop by the main store and I can still remember sitting behind the counter and being fascinated by the endless rows of shelves holding countless auto parts in the store room.
- Getting picked up from school (sick) and taken to my aunt’s party store where I got to drink Strawberry Crush until my mom was able to pick me up.
- Staying overnight at Greenfield Village on a class trip.
- Going to Disney World.
- Cedar Point trips.
- Walking up to Dawn Donuts and getting to pick out my favorite doughnut with sprinkles.
This post is linked to Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday.